Critical Theme Of Revenge In Hamlet

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Hamlet is a play that incorporates betrayal, vengeance, misguided love, and death into its plot to showcase the downfall of Hamlet. There are many questions that arise within the plot that are left una nswered such as the significance of the Ghost and why Hamlet hesitates to take revenge on Claudius. But, a critical question to ask is how revenge influences the interactions between people. Answers to this question are evident throughout the play and they give context to Hamlet’s affairs with Ophelia and her father Polonius, as well as his interactions with Claudius. The structure of this question and its answers are divided based on how the plot itself progresses; as Hamlet becomes exceedingly disconnected from his surroundings, his flaws…show more content…
Hamlet states “this is most brave, that he, the son of a dear father murder’d, prompted to his revenge by heaven and hell, must like a whore unpack his heart with words and fall a-cursing like a very drab, a scullion!” (Act 2 Scene 2, Lines 569-575) Hamlet is tormented by his inability to physically confront Claudius and that he resorts only to words. Hamlet shortly after contemplates whether or not it “‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings of arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.” (Act 3 Scene 1, Lines 57-60) Hamlet questions if his revenge is worth the agony of his sanity or if he should take a stand against Claudius. This question is manifested in the popular phrase: “to be or not to be, that is the question.” (Act 3 Scene 1, Line 56) How Hamlet’s revenge is affecting the interactions between individuals is clearly indicated by the conversations Polonius has with Claudius. Polonius spews all of his suspicions concerning Hamlet such as his stealing of Ophelia’s heart and his alleged “madness” to Claudius. Polonius falsely believes that “the origin and commencement of Hamlet’s grief sprung from neglected love.” (Act 3 Scene 1, Lines 177-178) Claudius believes the lies Polonius speaks which explains the varied perceptions each character has of Hamlet’s behaviour: Gertrude doesn’t want to believe that Hamlet is mad, Claudius is legitimately concerned for Hamlet, and Polonius is enraged by Hamlet’s advancements towards Ophelia. When Claudius inevitably observes Hamlet’s play that outlines his sins, he, out of sheer guilt decides to send Hamlet to England with two spies to “vent his madness” and preserve his own reputation as
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